Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Synergy Arts Camp: Synergy Magic!

I'm especially excited about this week.  I've loved magic tricks since I was a kid.  I remember Dad getting me a magic kit for my ninth birthday, I perfected each and every one of them in that kit.  I couldn't get enough.  There was a novelty & joke store in the local mall I used to get a bunch of pocket tricks from and carry them around to practice.  I even made up stage names and costumes from Dad's suit jackets and hat collection, performed little shows in the living room every Sunday.  I had so much fun!

I'm excited to pass on the same fun I had to the camp kids this week - three older girls with a passion for dance and fantastic attitudes all around - a perfect way to end the summer!

I had put together a basic Magician's Glossary and a few simple tricks for the kids to perform, each needing props and plenty of practice: the   I had also thrown in a 'bonus trick' from my early years of pocket tricks, and something that they could do at home.

I can't believe I'm doing this - some of you stage magicians might be a little upset with me, but consider it for the love of art and passing on the craft, so to speak.  Take a look at these fantastic and simple tricks - and how you can do them yourself!

Magic Trick Manual
Magician’s Glossary
To get rid of something without being seen. Often, it's something you've gimmicked and don't want the audience to see.

The last part of a trick or show.  A magician usually tries to make this the best part.

Making someone pick a certain card when they think they have a random choice.  A good way to force a card is like this:
1.     Put the card you want the person to pick on the bottom of the deck.
2.     Flip through the cards slowly from the top to the bottom, with your thumb under the deck.
3.     Have them tell you when to stop.
4.     When they say stop, pull the top cards away, but with your thumb pull the bottom card with it, so it ends up on bottom of the top cards.
5.     Show that card to the person.  They'll think it's the card they said stop on!

A way of getting the audience to pay attention to something so you can do a secret move somewhere else.

To hide something in your hand in such a way that your hand looks empty.

The things you say while you're doing a magic trick.  Sometimes it is a story, or makes the audience believe something that helps fool them.  A form of misdirection.

Taking something from where the audience thinks it is without the audience knowing.

To replace something the audience thinks they understand with something slightly different.

Native Water Trick
Dropping a pushpin into a full glass, you tell your audience about an old Indian water purification ritual they used to do when they found new lakes or rivers.  The pin sinks to the bottom.  But as you chant, the pin slowly stands up on its point, spins, and then rises to the top of the water!

What You’ll Need:
·      A clear drinking cup, plastic or glass.
·      Clear soda, such as club soda, 7-Up or Sprite.
·      Plastic push pins.

Here’s What You Do:
1.     While telling your audience about an old water purification ritual you learned, drop the pushpin in the soda.  The story you are telling them is called the patter.  This trick is based entirely on the patter.
2.     Tell them that in ancient times, the Indians didn't have filters and things like we know them.  When they came to rivers or lakes that they didn't know, they would first bless the water so that all of the dangerous things would rise out.
3.     Begin to chant like an Indian.  Just sound mystical and mysterious as you moan.  While you do this, watch the pin closely.
4.     By itself the pin will start to stand up.  You may think it's because you're a good Indian dancer, but really it's because the pin is so light the tiny bubbles in the soda make it float as they stick to the plastic.
5.     But since your audience doesn't know this, pretend you're doing it.  Gesture with your hands as if you are drawing it out magically.  The pin will float all the way to the surface, where you can pull it out!

Special Tip:
The flatter the soda is, the longer it will take the pin to rise.  But if you just poured the soda, it may float so fast that you can't do your little dance.  Practice until you find a good amount of time to let the soda sit.

Magic Messages
You stuff a blank paper into an envelope.  After mumbling a few magic words and waving your hand, you remove the blank paper, which now mysteriously has writing on it!

What You’ll Need:
·      Two identical envelopes and sheets of paper.
·      Writing utensil.
·      Glue or double-sided tape.

Here’s What You Do:
1.     The drawing and the materials give away the trick.  To prepare, you glue the two envelopes together, back to back, so that when you hold them together it looks like one envelope.  This is called substitution.
2.     In one of the envelopes, put a paper with writing on it.  It could be your name, or a special message.  There's more ideas for what to write at the end of this trick, with the special tips.
3.     Set the envelopes in a place where you'll want to do the trick, with the empty envelope facing up and the blank paper close by.
4.     When your friends are around and you're ready to do the trick, pick up the paper.  Show it off to everybody.  Make a big deal about how it's blank.  This is called misdirection. Since everyone is paying attention to the paper, they don't notice the envelope as much.
5.     Fold the paper the same way you folded the paper you wrote on.
6.     Pick up the envelope, being careful to keep the empty envelope facing your audience.  Put the blank paper in the envelope. 

 Magnet Card Trick

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